Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect of oxaliplatin and taxanes with a negative impact on quality of life (QOL). This study investigates the efficacy of wearing frozen gloves (FGs) during chemotherapy for the prevention of CIPN due to oxaliplatin or taxanes and the influence on patients’ QOL.
Patients with newly diagnosed cancer starting treatment with oxaliplatin, docetaxel or paclitaxel were eligible for this multicenter randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomized between wearing FGs on both hands during treatment or not wearing FGs. Self-reported CIPN and QOL were measured with the validated EORTC-QLQ CIPN20 and EORCT-QLQ C30 at four time points; baseline (T0), after three cycles (T1), end of chemotherapy (T2) and after 6 months (T3). Subscales were analyzed with analysis of covariance and neuropathy symptoms with logistic regression analysis.
Between February 2013 and May 2016, 180 patients were included, 90 patients in both arms. Thirty-one patients (34%) discontinued the FGs before end of chemotherapy mainly due to discomfort. Intention to treat analyses showed that patients in the FG-group experienced less tingling in fingers/hands at T1 (11% vs. 24%; p=.009) and T2 (28% vs. 43%, p = 0.038) compared to controls. At T3 these differences disappeared (28% vs 24%, p=.0884). FG patients also experienced a trend towards less interference in handling small objects (2% vs 10%, p = 0.06) and opening a bottle (9% vs. 6%, p = 0.06) at T1. FG patients also reported significantly lower motoric problems (mean 8.3 (SD 9.7) vs. 12.8 (SD 13.6), p = 0.013) compared to controls at T1. At T1, those treated with FGs reported statistically significant better QOL on EORTC QLQ-C30 subscales physical (mean 82 vs.74), role (mean 66 vs. 51), cognitive (mean 85 vs. 78), and social functioning (mean 79 vs. 67), and symptom scales fatigue (mean 40 vs. 49) and appetite loss (mean 21 vs. 34), all p
No long-term differences in neuropathy were found, but FGs reduced neuropathy symptoms with better QOL during chemotherapy. Future studies should focus on the biological process of cooling to prevent CIPN.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.